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Using a PA while tracking drums
Old 23rd September 2015
  #1
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Using a PA while tracking drums

Hi Dave,
It's an honour to have you here.
I've read an article in which you mentioned having a P.A. system in the live room while tracking drums.
What do you send through the P.A.? The whole kit or certain things like Kick and Snare? Does this not cause phase nightmares especially in the room mics?
Thanks.

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Old 24th September 2015
  #2
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I send the snare,Kick and toms to the P.A. I only do this on slow to mid tempo songs because on really fast tempo songs it would just be a blur! Also , I need a fairly large room to do this.
I am always aware of phase problems. For that reason I make sure to listen in mono. Also my ears are pretty good a hearing phase problems. One technique I use is to compare different tracks
to each other by looking at the VU meters. Lets say I am comparing the PA generated room mics to any other tracks . The rule I use is there must be a -9 signal between tracks . I also use the
3 to one rule where there must be a distance of 3 to one ratio between mics. Listening to tracks in mono is a must in recording. Any and all phase problems become totally apparent. The reason I
use a P.A. is to let the Kick,snare and toms "compete" with the cymbals on large drum setups . I use a P.A maybe on 20% of the recordings I do . It depends on the song, room and type of band.
By the way, when I recorded Mick Jagger's first solo record "She's the Boss" at Compass Point studio's in the Bahamas the room down there was small however to "get a Vibe' on some tracks
I put Sly Dunbar's drums thru a small P.A. I made up with JBL 4311's . There were 3 or 4 drummers on that gig however I only did the P.A. bit with Sly's drums because he plays so controlled
(not to mean soft ) . By the way, Sly and Robbie (Bass) are my favorite rhythm team. I have had the good fortune to work with them on several projects.
Old 25th September 2015
  #3
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Brilliant. Thanks so much for the detailed answer and your time here!
Old 28th September 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveJerden View Post
One technique I use is to compare different tracks
to each other by looking at the VU meters. Lets say I am comparing the PA generated room mics to any other tracks . The rule I use is there must be a -9 signal between tracks .
Hi Dave, thanks for doing this!
Would you be able to explain what you mean by looking for -9 between tracks? Seems like an interesting way to consistently evaluate phase!
Thanks again!
Old 28th September 2015
  #5
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To explain more fully the -9 VU phase evaluation; Lets say you have a mic on the snare top and a mic on a rack tom . If the Rack tom mic VU is picking up more than a -9 signal when the snare
is hit or vise versa; the snare VU is registering more than -9 on its VU meter when the tom is hit (or any other combination of mics) Then there is a possible phase problem happening . To remedy this bring down the level of the mic picking up to much of other instruments plus move the mics closer to the sound source .This is a simple visual way to make sure your phase problems are under control.
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